In 1918, a ship beached on Lord Howe Island. It brought rodents to the lush, crescent-moon-shaped volcanic remnant in the Tasman Sea for the very first time. Without any predators to hold them back, the rats decimated native species of insects and birds.
Articles from Popular Science
It only took 181 years to eradicate smallpox once we had a way to inoculate against it. That cocktail was the first successful vaccine, and the basis for most future immunizations. And we're still not really sure what was in it.
We typically think of insects as pests or pestilences, carrying disease or gnawing their way through our gardens before we can get a bite. But they are also gorgeous creatures, as photographer Levon Biss explores in his latest book, Microsculpture: Portraits of Insects. The book is a continuation of his Microsculpture exhibit at Oxford's Museum of Natural History, which displayed bugs from the collection in a larger-than-life way.
Most people are probably familiar with the classic fight or flight response to a feared stimulus. If a snake were to fall from the ceiling on top of you as you read this, you have two options: fight off the snake or get away from it as quickly as possible.
There's an old man sitting just outside the frame of this photo of the sea. Trust us.
We all hear about how bad red meat is for both the planet's health and our own. Planet-wise, there's no argument: The detrimental effects of greenhouse gases from livestock production on the earth's atmosphere can't be overlooked. So, for the month of October, members of the PopSci staff are abstaining from all forms of red meat (#NoRedOctober) for the sake of the environment, and, by extension, for our own good. We have to live here, after all.
If you've got a pulse and a decent memory, you must admit that there are some dreams you had as a pre-teen that you wish you hadn't given up on for practicality's sake. It's the kind of thing you think about rarely, when you read an article about an astronaut or meet a novelist at a party.
The shortfin mako is a strikingly blue, athletic shark with a dubious honor: its meat is considered delicious. While other species are spurned as being tough or unappealing, mako frequently shows up on restaurant menus.